Schumer calls for vote on bipartisan bill to protect Mueller

Schumer calls for vote on bipartisan bill to protect Mueller
© Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDems must stop picking foxes to guard the financial hen house Schumer warns 'House moderates' against immigration compromise bill Trump knocks Schumer, touts North Korea summit in early morning tweet MORE (D-N.Y.) is urging GOP leadership to take up a new bill aimed at limiting President TrumpDonald John Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE's ability to fire special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE

"Why don't we head it off at the pass and move bipartisan legislation that's been introduced this morning through the Judiciary Committee, which I'm told Senator Grassley is seriously considering, and on to the floor of the Senate," Schumer said. 

Schumer didn't specify how he knows Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyJustice IG says report doesn’t assess ‘credibility’ of Russian probe DOJ watchdog probing Comey's memos, will release another report Grassley demands details on Comey's use of personal email MORE (R-Iowa) is considering giving the bill a committee vote but urged him to "schedule a hearing and markup on this bill, to report it out of his committee." 


"We must be sure not to water it down with amendments or accept changes that would render it useless. I urge Leader [Mitch] McConnell to then take that bill and put it on the floor where we can debate it and pass it," he said.

Spokesmen for Grassley did not immediately respond to a request for comment about giving the bill a committee vote.

Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) are introducing new legislation, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, on Wednesday.

The legislation would let Mueller, or any other special counsel, receive an "expedited judicial review" within 10 days of being fired to determine if it was for a "good cause." If it was determined it wasn't, he would be reinstated.

It would also codify regulations that only a senior Justice Department official can fire a special counsel and that they must provide the reason for termination in writing. 

The senators introduced competing versions of the special counsel legislation last year.

The new legislation comes after Trump lashed out following an FBI raid on the offices, home and hotel room of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen. A referral from Mueller's team reportedly prompted the raid.

"Attorney–client privilege is dead!" Trump said in a tweet, adding, "A TOTAL WITCH HUNT!!!"

He also refused to rule out the possibility of firing Mueller, telling reporters, "We'll see what happens."